Rising tides helped lift all prices, or at least most, in the calf trade over the last week according to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database.

It appears the peak of the calf season is almost reached, as there was only a 3% rise in numbers compared over the last seven days, with 9,725 calves traded.

After downward pressure for a number of weeks, prices for Friesian bull calves rose this week.

Early reports of a decline in the number of Friesian bull calves appears to be playing out as they made up 29% of calves traded. This decline in supply, along with the likes of the Dutch market creating demand have been factors in their price rise over the last week.

Those aged between 21 to 42 days were up by €9/head to €55/head, while prices for Friesian bulls under three weeks of age also got a bounce. They got a lift of €8/head, rising to €45/head. Data from marts that are weighing calves showed that younger Friesian bull calves averaged 53kg, while older ones had an average weight of 58kg.

Both traditional beef breeds saw their market share increase, and between them they accounted for 57% of all calves traded. Angus calves continued their climb in numbers, accounting for 37% of calves traded last week.


The average price for Angus calves across ages and sexes increased by €5/head this week, but they still lag behind Herefords, who increased by an average of €7/head this week to €156. This helps them maintain a gap of €34/head compared to Angus calves.

Older Angus bull calves between three to six weeks old saw prices rise by €6/head to €167/head, while prices for heifer calves of the same age went up €9/head to €110.

Angus bulls and heifers under three weeks old experienced smaller increases. They rose €3/head and €1/head to €128/head and €82/head respectively.

Of the Herefords, older bull calves experienced a lift of €10/head over the week for an average of €211. Younger heifer calves were up €7/head to €112, while younger bull calves and older heifers were both up €6/head to €170/head and €131/head.